In 1998, the Tour came to Ireland for a few stages at the start. We piled the girls into the car and drove 20km South towards New Ross, parked in a field, and went and stood by the roadside in the sun with a heaving crowd of gawpers. Nothing happened for a long time, there were several false alarms and finally the leaders, followed closely by the pelleton, appeared round a sweeping corner of the main road and paced off down the hill until they disappeared round another corner. They had been visible for about 15 seconds; including the motorcycle outriders, the spare-part cars and the ambulance, the whole experience lasted a couple of minutes. I'm glad I didn't have to pay for the experience and it was good for the kids to see something that is surely part of European culture.
Verdict? - been there, done that, got the T-shirt